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Date Me! at Salomee Speelt | Theater review

The tone is hard to read in Noémi Schlosser’s interactive single-gal satire.

Photograph: Kelsey Jorrisen
Salomee Speelt's Date Me!

Is Date Me! a breezy bash in the style of Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding? That’s how a group of fellow audience members, who bought the T-shirt, said they took it—at fun face value. A glimpse into just how hammered and confessional two friends at a wedding reception can get, Date Me! stars Belgian playwright and performer Noémi Schlosser as Noémi and Michelle Slonim as Michelle, and includes required cast-audience mingling.

At times, the play seems to lampoon single-lady comedies with, for instance, a brilliantly excruciating moment in which a feral Michelle, on all fours, literally stalks the man she fancies (a dopey DJ, played at alternating performances by Brandon Galatz and Josh Odor). But continual shrieks (“Sweetie!”) and blather about texting, cocaine and shoes suggest that it’s women in general who are being mocked. Or are they subversively being celebrated through flashes of inspired physical comedy? Something here has been lost in translation.

Schlosser, who founded the “fixed-fluid” theater company Salomee Speelt, appears to normally aim higher, as evidenced by YouTube clips of her multimedia opera Moscow–New York and of her performance in Jean Cocteau’s jilted-lover one-act Le Bel Indifférent. The English translation of the latter, The Sound of Silence, is playing in repertory with Date Me!, which remains a frisky but confounding spectacle.

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